Daily Notes: Slow day means spot matchups
Mark Buehrle, LHP (9-9, 3.47 ERA, 1.21 WHIP) versus
Chad Durbin, RHP (8-6, 4.76 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
Game Story: Buehrle is very solid, but he's not recommended against the Tigers potent offense unless you're desperate. He pitched well last time out but finished August with poor numbers, at least partially due to a brutal schedule. Durbin is a weaker pitcher, but the White Sox offense has not been impressive. So neither starter is a great bet. Naturally Magglio Ordonez will be in every owner's lineup, but for those thinking about using Buehrle, it's worth noting that Ordonez is 12-for-19 with two home runs against the Sox lefty. Those in need of steals should grab Jerry Owens, who has posted a solid .464 on-base percentage the past week and is more known for his speed than on-base abilities.
Tim Wakefield, RHP (16-10, 4.16 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) versus
Garrett Olson, LHP (1-3, 7.22 ERA, 2.20 WHIP)
Game Story: Wakefield is still recovering from a back injury and is questionable to make this start, so he's a risky play. He's still a better bet than Olson, who's been miserable in six starts for the Orioles. Boston's Dustin Pedroia and Baltimore's Aubrey Huff are among the desirable bats in this matchup. Both have enjoyed robust second halves and have started September strong.
Paul Byrd, RHP (14-5, 4.35 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) versus
Kelvim Escobar, RHP (15-7, 2.99 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
Notable Injuries: Chone Figgins, 3B, (wrist, day-to-day)
Game Story: Escobar has pitched like a true ace this year, and he is showing skills consistent with the results. You'll want all but the stud Cleveland hitters on the bench. Byrd has pitched well for four straight starts and is coming off a shutout of the White Sox. Play only the Angels hitters whom you normally would.
Bryan Bullington, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP) versus
Mike Maroth, RHP (5-6, 6.79 ERA, 1.83 WHIP)
Game Story: Maroth has been one of the worst pitchers in the National League since coming over from Detroit earlier this year. He rejoins the rotation Thursday and chances are the Pirates will give him a beating. Stack your lineup with all possible Pittsburgh hitters, and grab Jack Wilson if you need an infielder. The Pirates' shortstop has been hitting well lately, and for what it's worth he has two hits in three tries against Maroth. Bullington is making his first major league start, but his numbers in Triple-A don't inspire confidence. Use Rick Ankiel and Aaron Miles against the rookie right-hander.
Derek Lowe, RHP (11-12, 3.78 ERA, 1.25 WHIP) versus
Jason Marquis, RHP (11-8, 4.20 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
Notable Injuries: Jason Kendall, C, (hand, day-to-day)
Game Story: Marquis is more likely to deliver a disaster than a gem, so get your Dodgers in the lineup. First baseman James Loney is a solid addition. The normally-reliable Lowe struggled in his last turn, but shut down the Cubs earlier in the year. He's a risky play, especially since he'll have to face three Cubs sluggers in Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez who are all currently in top form.
James Loney, 1B, LAD @ Chicago Cubs
Rick Ankiel, OF, STL versus Pittsburgh Pirates
Aaron Miles, 2B, STL versus Pittsburgh Pirates
Jack Wilson, SS, PIT @ St. Louis Cardinals
Aubrey Huff, OF, BAL versus Boston Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS @ Baltimore Orioles
Jerry Owens, OF, CHW @ Detroit Tigers
Please Note that the notable injuries are not meant to be a comprehensive report of each team's disabled list. For brevity, we include only day-to-day injuries or new DL additions for players you might otherwise consider using in these games. Long-term DL or day-to-day injuries to starting pitchers who were not scheduled to appear are omitted.
Will Harris is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com and TalentedMrRoto.com. He can be reached at willharris@TalentedMrRoto.com